by Kayla Johnson
Now that cannabis is slowly becoming much more mainstream than it has been in the past, there are dozens of advancements in the consumption process. One of the latest concepts that has been gaining momentum is the idea of microdosing, a trend that’s been rapidly catching on. It encourages patients to think small when it comes to their cannabis. Traditionally, when one thinks of cannabis consumption, they probably picture a thick joint, or a fully packed bowl on a bong or pipe, rather than a tiny portion of bud, but this new method of using cannabis is changing the game for many people.
Microdosing is exactly what it sounds like: consuming a much smaller amount of cannabis, generally 5 to 10 milligrams to start with – just enough to reap the many benefits without potentially getting too high to function throughout the day. Microdosing isn’t a new concept, but now that legalization is spreading across the country, it’s coming to the forefront as the stigma begins to break down. For those among us that are just now exploring the world of cannabis, microdosing can be the perfect introduction. It’s very easy to misjudge your tolerance in the beginning. By purposely keeping the doses you consume low, you allow yourself to find the point where you get the maximum benefit without the psychoactive effects that may be too strong for your comfort.
For most people, 5 to 10 milligrams once a day is a great starting point. The key is to wait long enough between doses so as to avoid consuming a dose that may bring on the heavier effects.
It may sound counterintuitive – to only consume a very small amount once or twice a day – but many people don’t need to reach the point where they’re “stoned” from their cannabis in order to get the most bang for your buck. Cannabis has a vast range of health benefits from the cannabinoids it contains; everything from stress and anxiety relief to being anti-inflammatory. Sometimes a strong high that lasts too long can overwhelm patients, rather than benefiting them. With microdosing, cannabis is used almost like any herbal supplement: one low dose a day to reap the benefits without giving yourself too much of a good thing. For patients juggling kids, work, and other responsibilities, microdosing keeps your mind and body clear minus the anxiety and/or stress. It’s a balance. Cannabis is a different experience from person to person but, once the right dosage is achieved, most people experience a calm, mellow feeling and are more focused, happy, and creative.
The strain consumed makes a difference, of course, but this method of consumption can be used both to start and/or end your day on a good, clear-headed note. Microdosing an indica-based strain, which is known for being more relaxing and sedating, may be the perfect way to relax in the evening without getting overly tired from the effects of the weed. A sativa-based strain, generally considered to be energizing, is typically suggested for daytime use. Everyone is different and reacts to strains differently so it may take some trial and error before you find the proper dose of the right strain for your daily needs. That’s the beauty of microdosing – you have the ability to experiment and find what works best for you without the risk of consuming too much and throwing a wrench in your day with an overly intense high. Slow and steady is the name of the game here, and it’s important to be patient as you go through experimentation process.
You can ingest your microdose however you prefer, though some methods are easier than others, such as combustion, vaporization, or edibles.
For vaporizers, simply load the small dose of cannabis into the vape, turn it on, and once heated, vape away, likely only 1 or 2 pulls before it’s done. Vaping is one of the most efficient ways of consuming your bud, and it’s usually low to no odor, making it a great way to microdose without worrying if any scent is lingering too heavily.
If you’d rather smoke it, simply load a pipe, small bong or a one-hitter with desired dose and light it up. If the traditional route is what works best for you, then you can even microdose using the common joint. Simply limit yourself to ONE puff before extinguishing the joint. Going this route may be less efficient, but having a joint rolled that you can smoke on as needed for your microdose can save the headache if you’re in a rush.
Edibles can be another great method of microdosing when you can divide it up into small portions, and some companies even produce microdose mints or tiny candies. If your edible is larger and particularly tasty, take extra care to make sure you don’t consume more than your microdose goal.
One of the main perks of the microdosing trend – your stash lasts longer because you’re not burning through it (literally). It’s gentle on your pocketbook since you’re buying less and, for those who are trying cannabis for the first time for health issues, the savings can be a blessing after paying for expensive medication that didn’t help.
It’s also a great exercise in self control. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should smoke it! For people who have been using cannabis for a long time in high amounts, microdosing can be a great way to scale back without cutting it out entirely.
For the complete cannabis novice, take care not to consume too many alcoholic beverages until you have a good feel for how your body responds to the dose size that fits your needs. Some people can be more sensitive to alcohol’s effects, so it’s always best to play it safe until you’re comfortable with it.
As people begin to use cannabis more regularly to improve their overall health, the stigma that comes with it will fade and, hopefully, one day, taking a microdose of weed will be no different than taking your daily multivitamin.